monterey pop

monterey pop

BOSTON MARATHON 1964

6d ago
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When Erich Segal died in April of 2010, I remembered a short film for which I had supplied the music. In 1965, as a graduate student at Harvard, I was the only composer in Leon Kirchner's seminar who was interested in composing music for film. While putting the finishing touches to the score for FLATLAND, supervised by animator John Hubley, the inventor of Mr. Magoo, Bob Gardner, the Director of the Film Study Center at Harvard popped his head into the studio and asked if I could supply a short film score for his current documentary, MARATHON. I said sure. Since two of the performers I had for FLATLAND were excellent jazz musicians I decided to do a quick improvisatory soundtrack. Guitarist Stanley Silverman could play anything and percussionist Fred Buda was one of the best jazz drummers I ever heard. All that remained was for me to call my old friend bassist John Neves to complete the group while I played piano. I watched the rushes and made some notes for a head arrangement. We had the track recorded in less than an hour. Soon the film was broadcast on WGBH, Boston's groundbreaking PBS TV Station. Then it disappeared until recently. Robert Gardner, now in his eighties, has collected numerous awards as an anthropologist and filmmaker. He is currently engaged with a number of film, video and book projects with Studio 7 Arts, his company in Cambridge MA. His most memorable films include Dead Birds (1964), Rivers of Sand (1975), and Forest of Bliss (1986). The assistant director, Joyce Chopra went on to direct many films for general release and for TV. Her films include Smooth Talk (1985), The Last Cowboy [TV 2003] and Fire in Our Hearts (2012). Erich Segal went on to write Love Story, the screenplay for Yellow Submarine, as well as influential texts in classics, his chosen field. He was a professor at Yale and a visiting professor at several universities including Princeton and Oxford. He died of a heart attack following many years of suffering from Parkinson's disease. Walter Hewlett, also a runner in this marathon, was an undergraduate at Harvard in 1964. A man of many noteworthy accomplishments, he has been chairman of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation since 1994. D. A. Pennebaker, also in his eighties, is the legendary cinematographer/documentarian of such films as Don't Look Back (1967), Monterey Pop (1968) and The War Room (1993). Marathon and Don't Look Back were completed in the same year (1965). -David Borden, Ithaca, NY July, 2010